ABC News tops broadcast networks in hearing coverage

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At least 20 million people watched live coverage of the June 9, 2022, Capitol insurrection hearing, according to early numbers released by Nielsen.

ABC, CBS and NBC all carried the entire hearing, along with pre- and post-coverage, starting at 8 p.m. eastern. Fox stations in select markets carried it as well.

CNN and MSNBC carried it live as well, with extensive coverage on either end. Fox’s flagship cable commentary channel, meanwhile, did not carry it, a move that drew criticism even as the network framed the move as to avoid exposing its viewers to what it repeatedly called “propaganda” and “lies” without offering any solid evidence to back up those claims.

ABC took first place among the broadcast networks, delivering about 5.7 million viewers. NBC and CBS came it over 3 million each. The preliminary figures do not include ratings data from PBS, which carried coverage as well in most markets. It also does not include streaming or digital viewers which would likely boost the numbers a bit higher.

On cable, MSNBC came in first, with a total estimated cable viewership on MSNBC and CNN just over 6.5 million according to initial data for 8 to 10 p.m. eastern.

While the broadcast coverage of the event didn’t reach the highs seen for events such as presidential debates, which can draw 60 to 70 million, but is in line with a major TV event such as a Sunday evening NFL game.